Ways To Prevent And Treat Fire Ant Bites

Bites from red imported fire ants cause a distinctive burning sensation on the skin. Once an individual has felt what fire ant bites feel like it is hard to compare to feeling to anything else. Even though fire ants are not native to the United States, they are widely present and will bite. As many as 200,000 fire ants may populate a single fire ant nest. When a fire ant nest is disrupted, fire ants become incredibly aggressive. When an individual provokes fire ants or disturbs the nest of fire ants they congregate on the individual and bite to gain a foothold on the skin, and then they start biting continuously. With each bite, solenopsin, or a toxic alkaloid venom is injected into the skin. Fire ant bites appear as red swollen spots on the skin that usually feature a blister on the top. The bites may be painful and itch for up to seven days.
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Wash With Soap And Water

House Method

Fire ants have jaws that are very powerful so they can tear apart the skin enough for their venom to be injected. Essentially, fire ants use their jaw to rip into the individual’s flesh and inject venom every ten to fifteen seconds. Due to the risk of infection a simple laceration to the skin alone poses, multiple bites from many fire ants can easily result in an infection. The first thing anyone should do after being bitten by fire ants is to get away from the nest, and shake off or remove the ants from the skin. Fire ants become even more agitated when they are hit, so shaking them off or using a towel to wipe them off would be a wiser move. Then the individual or someone else should gently but thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water. This ensures most of the particles of dirt and debris are removed from the lacerations. Giving the bites a good wash can help prevent any further skin swelling of the affected region. The soap also has a neutralizing effect on the fire ant venom and its acidic burning.

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